Anna Gülcher

Earth and planetary scientist at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and California Institute of Technology


I am a computational Earth and planetary scientist interested in planetary evolution and (in)habitability. My research focuses on – but is not restricted to – the interior and tectonic processes that shape rocky planets such as Venus and Earth. I am involved in several space missions dedicated to unravel the mysteries of our neighbouring planet Venus. This includes my roles as a scientific collaborator to NASA’s VERITAS mission and ESA’s EnVision mission

I am further passionate about project and team management, science communication, teaching, and diversity. I have a track record of organisational skills and professional outreach experience. I previously served several roles in the Geodynamics Division of the European Geosciences Union and am currently on NASA’s Venus Exploration and Analysis Group Steering Committee. I am committed to foster a more open, diverse, and inclusive community for scientists. 

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Contact info

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 4900 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109, US

California Institute of Technology, 1200 E. California Blvd., South Mudd Building, Rm 266, Pasadena, CA 91125, US

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My research interests, past, current, or future projects, and collaborations


Publications, (keynote) talks, conference contributions, software, and more


Outreach articles/activities, science communication, and professional service roles


Find a collection of graphics, figures, and maps made to communicate my research


Women in science/STEM, communities, science visualisation and software

Academic / research experience

  • Postdoctoral Fellow in Planetary Sciences | Geophysics02.2023 - present

Principal Investigator on research project dedicated to unravelling the mysteries behind Venus’ tectonics and volcanism, awarded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. 

  • Researcher in Geophysics10.2022 - 01.2023
  • PhD in Geophysics10.2018 - 10.2022

PhD dissertation: Shaping Earth’s interior evolution through chemical and rheological heterogeneity in the lower mantle

  • M.Sc. in Earth Sciences | Geophysics09.2016 - 08.2018

MSc thesis: Plume-lithosphere interactions on Venus and the origin of coronae: inferences from 3D thermo-mechanical modelling

  • B.Sc. in Earth Sciences09.2013 - 07.2016

Dept. of Earth Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands

BSc thesis: Obtaining a high resolution geomagnetic field intensity curve for the Azores region, the IZZI-Thellier approach


Awards and grants

  • SNSF Postdoctoral fellowshipGrant

$140.000 Fellowship grant

Postdoc.Mobility grant awarded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) in 2022 to be the Principal Investigator on a two-year long research project (2023-2025) at the California Institute of Technology and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (USA).

  • ETH Zürich 'Fix the Leaky Pipeline' group selectionGrant

$2000 Grant by ETH Zürich for women-in-STEM peer-mentoring group

Grant awarded for the Planetary Equity group within ETH’s career-building program for women in science (2021-2022). Theme: ‘Self-development as a pathway to an equal scientific career’. 

  • EGU Outstanding Student Presentation (OSPP) awardAward

European Geoscience Union award

Award from the Geodynamics Division for an outstanding performance as a young scientist during the EGU General Assembly 2019 in Vienna, Austria. 

  • ETH Zürich MSc thesis research medalAward

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology award

Awarded for the best M.Sc. thesis research of the whole Department of Earth Sciences, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, in the graduation year 2018.

  • Excellence MSc Scholarship ETH ZürichScholarship

$36.000 Scholarship by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

Full scholarship for two-year MSc degree in Geophysics at ETH Zürich, Switzerland (2016-2018), based on previous academic excellency.

  • TU Delft Molengraaff research fundGrant

$10.000 Research grant by Foundation “Stichting Molengraaff Fonds” (TU Delft)

Research fund awarded for my BSc thesis research project and related paleomagnetic field work on the Azores, Portugal.

My first on-camera interview for the ‘The UnXplained: Mysteries of the Universe’ documentary (History Channel)


My first day at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Feb 2023)


PhD defence celebration

Picture taken right after defending my PhD dissertation at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, 07 October 2022.


MSc graduation

Receiving my MSc diploma at my graduation, Oct 2018, ETH Zurich, Switzerland.